What an amazing treat it was to not only enjoy this delicious 13lb. pasture-raised, Non GMO, hormone and antibiotic free turkey from Grove Ladder Farm but to cook it as well. With a product this pristine, I decided to season it very simply with kosher salt, black pepper, fresh sprigs of rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. I put it on a bed of mirepoix (yellow onions, organic celery, and organic carrots, to keep it off the roasting pan but also to use the drippings and the roasted veggies to make a flourless gravy.
One very important thing to note when cooking a pasture-raised turkey (or chicken) is that it will be MUCH leaner than commercially farmed turkeys, and therefore will cook in a LESS time than commercial birds. To be safe use an oven-safe probe meat thermometer and cook it until the temp reaches 165° F. You will be pleasantly surprised that you won’t have to spend hours upon hours cooking this beautiful product. Additionally, I did not brine this bird as the flavor needs no enhancing. Having said that, I always brine commercial turkeys.
If you want to learn more about cooking pastured turkeys check out the following link: http://www.motherearthnews.com... is another in a series of posts titled “A Florida Family Farm Thanksgiving”, a collaboration with Chris and Eva Worden, owners and operators of Worden Farm, an organic family farm in Punta Gorda, Florida, and Tim and Chelsea Clarkson, owners and operators of Grove Ladder Farm, a Sarasota-based farm that specializes in pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic free poultry and eggs.
The series includes recipes and photos of the food and beverage that the two families shared at their early Thanksgiving dinner at Worden Farm in Punta Gorda, Florida.
1 frozen or fresh turkeySet aside giblets to roast with additional chicken parts from Grove Ladder Farm for making stock (scroll to the bottom of this post for more on this).
1 large onion large dice
4 stalks celery large dice
3 large carrots peeled and large dice
5-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400° F and set the top rack on the second from the bottom level.
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, or not. (I do because it makes clean up that much easier.)
Cut the onions, celery, and carrots into large chunks about 2 to 3 inches long and wide, place the veggies all around the bottom of the roasting pan.
Remove the turkey from the packaging and place on a cutting board (ideally one that is used for poultry only)
Do not rinse or was the bird as you run a greater risk of cross-contamination from all the wash water splashing onto surfaces around the sink.
Remove any giblets from the cavity. (I’ve actually been to Thanksgiving dinners of friends where when they cut the turkey the bag of giblets was still in the cooked bird.)
Stuff the bird if you wish but I prefer not to as it will allow for a more even cooking. By the time the stuffing is fully cooked the meat on the exterior of the turkey is well over-cooked.
Season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper, including inside the cavity; rub the turkey all over with extra virgin olive oil, then finally place a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity and around the bird.
Tie the legs together using cooking twine.
Place the seasoned, oiled and trussed bird onto the veggies in the roasting pan, cover and place in the preheated oven on the second from the bottom level.
Turkey:Roast the 13 lb turkey for 1.5 -2 hours or until the meat probe thermometer reaches 165F.If you want extra crispy or darker skin remove the lid of the roasting pan 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Remove and let the turkey rest about 30 minutes. This will allow all the juices inside the meat of the turkey to settle down. If you cut into the turkey (or any piece of roasted meat) right after it has come out of the oven all of the juices in the meat will run out leaving it dry.
Flourless gravy:While the turkey is resting pour all of the drippings and the roasted veggies into a high-speed blender and blend on high until the mixture is smooth. (Add a little water, or even better, chicken or turkey stock if it is very thick.)
Pour the contents of the blender into a medium to large saucepot to warm it up a bit.
NOTE: If you choose to make the poultry stock (recipe below) add the gravy mixture made with the pan drippings and roasted veggies from that recipe at this point; pour into a gravy or other serving bowl.
The turkey and gravy are ready to slice, and serve!
Roast Grove Ladder Farm Turkey